We recently covered Facebook’s privacy and algorithm changes and gave our tips for how advertisers and brands can navigate the changed social landscape.
As a result of these changes, many of the social tools used by teams all over the world have been changed as well, including Hootsuite. With over 16 million users, Hootsuite is the leading social management platform on the scene, and Facebook and Instagram’s recently announced changes to their respective APIs will force some pretty noticeable changes within the Hootsuite interface.
For the most part, these changes mean reduced functionality and user visibility, and they will be rolled out on a gradual timetable which we’ll outline at the end of this article.
In the case you haven’t clicked the little tooltip in the web app (above), we’ve broken down Hootsuite’s latest privacy-related updates:
On both platforms, Hootsuite users will no longer be able to view identifiable user information like username or profile picture, add streams for Pages or profiles not owned by the user, or mention or tag users or pages.
For Hootsuite users managing Facebook pages, publishing Events will no longer be an option, nor will publishing inside of Events or Groups, the latter of which especially represents one of the last remaining spaces for generating organic, authentic discussion with high-intent interest networks.
The private messaging feature will also be removed. This is a big deal to companies who use Hootsuite to allow multiple people to manage customer service. For accounts that deal with high volumes of direct messages, this means they will no longer be able to manage that workflow within Hootsuite or another third party management tool. (Assigning messages to individuals is still an option directly in Facebook.)
Instagram will see the most restriction, as Hootsuite users will eventually be virtually unable to interact directly with other users. ‘Grammers going through Hootsuite will no longer be able to like or reply to posts or comments besides their own, follow or unfollow accounts, mention other accounts, or see any user information in hashtag and location searches, Analytics or mentions in Hootsuite Insights. Whew, that’s a lot!
What does this mean for me?
If you’re using Hootsuite in a relatively lightweight manner, some of these changes may only be a minor nuisance. Hootsuite is still a great place to manage proactive scheduling and see a snapshot of all your social properties in one place.
For those relying on Hootsuite for the heavy lifting, this may cause engagement to suffer and even push some to work through the native Facebook and Instagram environments more than ever. Perhaps we may return to engaging in a more authentic way with our audiences by meeting them at eye level. In any case, life goes on.
Timeline of changes:
Not all of these changes have been implemented yet. And if your accounts were authenticated in Hootsuite prior to this announcement, you may retain some functionality — which is not true for new accounts. See the timeline sourced directly from the developer announcement below:
Available until July 31, 2018:
- Follower List – to read the list of followers and followed-by users
- Relationships – to follow and unfollow accounts on a user’s behalf
- Commenting on Public Content – to post and delete comments on a user’s behalf on public media
Available until December 11, 2018:
- Commenting – to post and delete comments on a user’s behalf on owned media
- Public Content – to read any public profile info and media on a user’s behalf
- Likes – to like and unlike media on a user’s behalf
- Subscriptions – to receive notifications when media is posted
Available until early 2020:
- Basic – to read a user’s profile info and media
Need more information? Go straight to the source at Hootsuite’s official press release.